How to Get Coupons That’ll Slash Your Bills by Hundreds a Year

Updated: Jan. 25, 2024

Want to save tons of money without investing a ton of time? Here are nine easy ways to get coupons that'll lower your bills.

Using coupons to slash your grocery bill is nothing new, but this age-old method of saving money has changed over the years—a lot. Once upon a time, all you had to do was flip through the circulars in your Sunday newspaper to find coupons for the items on your budget grocery list. These days, there’s an art to learning how to get coupons.

With shows like Extreme Couponing and countless blogs and social media groups dedicated to teaching you how to coupon or build your stockpile, figuring out how to save money on groceries can seem a bit complicated. After all, things like tracking down or trading coupons—and figuring out how to stack manufacturer and store coupons—can become a part-time job. But don’t let that scare you away from this money-saving tactic. If you’re determined to learn how to save money, we’re going to show you how to get coupons without driving yourself crazy.

According to a 2022 trend report from CouponFollow, 80% of millennials (people born between 1982 and 1996) do most of their shopping online, with 56% of them using their mobile phones to make purchases. Given these numbers, it comes as no surprise that a whopping 96% of these shoppers search for coupons and deals while shopping online.

We spoke to CouponFollow founder Marc Mezzacca to learn more about the latest coupon trends that will help you save on all your purchases, plus where to get coupons with just the click of a button. From the best coupon apps to how to get $5 off your next Amazon purchase, money-saving hacks help you keep more cash where it belongs: in your bank account. Read on to learn how to get coupons to maximize your savings.

Visit brand websites

There are plenty of major brands that will send you coupons for free, although how to get coupons from these brands varies. Some may require you to sign up for a rewards program or email club, while others may ask you to take a quick survey or contact them to share your feedback on a recent purchase. To get started, simply head to your favorite brand’s website and look for an “offers” tab or “contact us” link. There, you’ll have the option to send an email, chat live with customer support or call customer service to ask about coupons.

Visit coupon websites

If you’re planning your purchases ahead of time, one of the best ways to save money, aside from knowing the best time to shop, is to search for online coupons. Luckily, there are plenty of websites and apps that compile free coupons. CouponFollow, RetailMeNot and CouponCabin all make it easy to search for your favorite or trending stores, brands and products as well as top deals. Don’t want to shop online? Some sites also offer printable, in-store coupons if you prefer to do your shopping in person.

Download browser extensions

The use of browser extensions has increased significantly in the past two to three years, says Mezzacca. Once installed on your web browser, these extensions will automatically find, test and apply the best coupons from around the internet at checkout. So long, copying and pasting coupon codes that may or may not work! Extensions like Cently and Honey will apply the highest-value coupon and even stack coupons when possible. Not only that, some extensions, including Cently and Rakuten, also offer cash-back savings too. Talk about a way to save money fast!

Visit Amazon’s coupon page

Did you know that Amazon has its own coupon page? According to Mezzacca, not many people do. Once there, you can search for coupons by category, including grocery and gourmet, health and personal care, daily essentials, electronics, fashion and more. Amazon will even show you the most popular coupons of the day, so you can see where other shoppers are saving the most. Here’s a list of the best things to buy on Amazon to get you started.

Download store apps on your phone

Download store apps right to your smartphone. You’ll need to create an account and link your store card if you have one. It might take you a couple of minutes, but it’s time well spent. Many apps, including those for Target, CVS, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and your local grocery store, have a tab for coupons or weekly offers that you can click on to receive instant savings. Not only that, but many apps also have a price-check feature. If you scan an item while shopping and it’s a lower price on the app than in-store, show it to the cashier for a price adjustment. Speaking of apps, be sure to download these gas apps to save money at the pump and these budget apps to keep your savings on track each month.

Watch your mail

Giving a Gift Cardfilo/Getty Images

Online retailers want to keep you coming back for more. One way they may try to entice you is by sending physical mailers to your home. That’s right: You don’t even have to try to get coupons in the mail.

These flyers typically include a coupon that can be put toward your next purchase. Be sure to read the fine print, however. Mezzacca notes that, in keeping with the rise of online shopping, the coupons on these physical mailers tend to be good for online purchases rather than in-store shopping. You should also watch your mail closely if you have certain store credit cards, as you may receive special coupons just for being a cardholder. And finally, don’t toss those Valpak envelopes! They’re chock-full of coupons for local businesses, services and restaurants. Also, if you’re over the age of 55, here are some senior discounts to score.

Download cash-back apps

Coupons offer instant savings, but cash-back apps return to you a percentage of your purchase, provided you shop through the app. They can be a great way to double your savings. Some cash-back apps, like Cently and Rakuten, even do double duty, offering cash back on your purchases as well as coupons. These apps may even have savings from retailers that they partner with and exclusive offers you won’t find anywhere else. There are also apps like Fetch, which lets you scan any and all receipts for points. You then save up those points and redeem them for gift cards to your favorite stores.

But buyer beware! Some cash-back apps may actually cause you to spend more money. Buying something you don’t need just for the sake of getting an extra dollar back isn’t a great idea, so be sure to shop wisely. Here are even more things to stop buying if you want to save money.

Ask customer service

Sometimes all it takes is a polite request. Before you start shopping, visit the customer service desk to ask if the store has any extra coupons. Some, like BJs and outlet stores, may even have an entire book of coupons to give you if you show your membership or AAA card. And when shopping in retail stores, ask the cashiers about coupons before you hand over your credit card. They may have extra coupons from previous customers that can be used again. Speaking of retail shopping, here’s how to build a capsule wardrobe so you can do more with fewer items.

Check store circulars

Here’s a smart trick for anyone interested in how to get coupons: Go old school. You may have shifted to online news and shopping, but you can find inserts with clippable coupons in your local or national newspaper. Your local grocery store may even double the savings, making it even easier to eat healthy on a budget. Or you may find store circulars with special coupons wrapped up in those local papers that show up in your mailbox every week. We’ve found that these inserts offer tons of coupons for beauty products, which is great if you’re looking to keep up with skin care on a budget.

Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for humor, cleaning, travel, tech and fun facts all week long.